Quantum Bayesian Networks

July 12, 2014

Betting On the Future of D-Wave

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 7:56 pm

Check out the following news item:

D-Wave Systems raises $30M to keep commercializing its quantum computer
By Derrick Harris (gigaom.com, Jul. 10, 2014)

My own reaction to this story is, Goldman-Sachs, Harris-Draper-Fisher-Jurvetson, and Canadian Banks, you guys should join gamblers anonymous. Face it, you have a serious gambling addiction.

In light of the now famous paper by Troyer et al which concludes there is no discernible SCALING advantage over classical computers for the 512 qubit D-wave chip, any cool headed, rational investor would have waited until the results come in for D-Wave’s 1000 qubit machine, promised to arrive by the end of this year, before adding another 30 million dollars to their already considerable bet. But gambling addicts are not rational. When they are already losing big, instead of walking away, they just bet their home and their children’s college fund, because they are SURE their luck is going to change in the next round.

In my opinion, dumb venture capitalist companies like Harris-Draper-Fisher-Jurvetson and greedy, unscrupulous investment bankers like Goldman-Sachs and their new partners in crime, Canadian Banks, should be investing only a fraction of their ill-gotten money in D-wave and the remaining fraction in gate model quantum computers. But instead, they are putting all their eggs, 160 million dollars worth, in one, D-Wave basket. How prudent is that for an investment strategy? And it’s not even a very popular basket. Indeed, for very good scientific reasons, the overwhelming majority of the scientific community prefers gate model QCs to D-Wave’s QC. Gate model QCs are making fast, steady progress and the scientific theory predicts that they will be able to do things that a D-Wave machine can only dream of (like Shor’s algorithm, for example, or running my QC machine learning software 🙂 ).

All this talk about D-Wave gambling reminds me of the controversial prediction markets, which are praised in the book titled “The Wisdom of the Crowds“. Henning Dekant and Matthias Troyer already have a 2-part D-Wave bet going on. So let me start a little betting action here too. How about if I ask you to predict the future of D-Wave? (bookies throughout the world, take note)



  1. Hello Bob: One correction to your blog, from a “wimpy” Canadian! The private banks in Canada are NOT involved in this “gamble”, but it’s “The Business Development Bank of Canada”, which is termed a “Crown Corporation”, which is entirely owned by the Government of Canada, i.e. by taxpayers like myself & Henning….etc.! So, we are on the hook! By the way, I will bet you anything that Microsoft won’t get anywhere near building a Gate-model QC in the next fifteen years, whether they use anyons or onions!! So, maybe you should start writing software for Quantum Annealing Machines!. Have a nice day and thanks.

    Comment by Sol Warda — July 12, 2014 @ 8:27 pm

  2. onions and anyons, LOL, Good one Sol. There is also Martinis’s machine.

    Comment by rrtucci — July 12, 2014 @ 9:11 pm

  3. I’m sorry Bob, but this link isn’t going to make you very happy! By the way, D-Wave is hiring Quantum Annealing software physicists and engineers, fulltime, so you better send in your application asap! By the way, I think only Martinis has a small chance of cobbling together something like a true universal QC, provided he can get out of his university lab and put together a first-rate team of physicists, engineers, mathematicians….etc., and then ONLY if he can raise upwards of 500 million bananas!:

    Comment by Sol Warda — July 14, 2014 @ 9:03 pm

  4. Sorry Sol, let me quote author Beth Macy describing John Bassett III, the factory man himself:

    “And he’s just determined he’s going to keep that factory going because when the economy does come back and housing starts to improve, he’s going to be poised to be what he calls the last girl standing on the desert island. ”

    (from http://wutc.org/post/how-factory-man-fought-save-his-furniture-company)

    So Sol, the way I see it, I can either follow the advise of Vern Brown-Well III, former top executive of vampire-squid Goldman-Sachs, or I can follow the advise of John Bassett Hound III

    Comment by rrtucci — July 14, 2014 @ 10:52 pm

  5. […] So is this just a case of acquiring trophy hardware, as some critics on Scott’s blog contended? I.e. nothing more than a marketing gimmick? Or have they been snookered? Maybe they, too, have a gambling addiction problem, like D-Wave investors as imagined on the qbnets blog? […]

    Pingback by The Business Case for D-Wave | Wavewatching — August 21, 2014 @ 3:44 pm

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